Project Updates

Nortel Switch Removal Fills 53-Foot Trailer

Before and after in the Switch Room.

As a follow-up to the January article about the retirement of Emory's telephony Nortel switch, the project team recently performed the last piece of work…removing twenty-eight cabinets, each weighing 2,000 pounds.

In collaboration with Todd Schram, General Manager of Emory Dining, Patty Ziegenhorn, Executive Director of Food Service Administration, and Charlie Raudonis, of the Emory Parking Office (all of whom had ownership of the loading dock we needed to use), the team coordinated the cleanup, filling a 53' trailer.

Because all of Emory's outlying clinics and cross-connects go through the switch room, a power consultant was hired to examine the circuits and turn them off as the equipment was being removed. As a result, the project was completed without a single outage.

A crew came in and filled the trailer with 28-tons of equipment which was recycled, leading to an overall cost savings for the project.

- Billy Tice, Project Manager, PMO

Emory Announces Smart Device Security Policy

It typically takes less than one second to enter an iPhone password.

The following excerpts are from an article published in the Emory Report regarding the new smartdevice policy. You can read the article in its entirety here.

With the rising use of smart device technology, Emory University is implementing a proactive policy change that will advance the protection of Emory data. The OIT Information Security Team has already applied the policy to the University Technology Services division and is currently testing in other areas of OIT (Finance, Research & Woodruff Health Science IT, etc.).

Smart devices have propagated substantially over the past five years. Recent statistics show that 40% of US cell phone owners now have smart phones, which are becoming the dominant general phone platform. Unfortunately, theft of these devices has also risen exponentially. Last year, two-million smart devices were stolen, or one every 15 seconds.

In addition to being cell phones, over 10,000 smart devices currently access Emory email and are also used to edit documents and collaborate with coworkers. As widespread use continues to increase, OIT is trying to ensure that sensitive Emory data is protected in the event of theft. "We want to be ahead of the curve regarding how people use technology," said Derek Spransy, a security specialist on the OIT Information Security team, "and smart devices are especially vulnerable."

Existing features of most smart devices make it highly unlikely to accidentally erase one's data. Industry smart device standards progressively lengthen the interval between failed attempts. This makes it difficult for a child, for instance, to have time to enter ten consecutive failed passwords.

Protecting the information of the Emory community is vital to the University mission. The added benefit of the policy is that it protects personal e-mail and accounts. Studies show that 54% of smartphone users never put a pin on their phones and leaving various applications logged-in all the time increases risk and vulnerability.

"We've already had instances in UTS where the policy has protected missing or stolen smart devices," said Peter Buch, Associate Director of HR Technology Services. The key habit that smart device users should develop is that synchronizing their data on a regular basis makes the process of recovery much easier. By encouraging basic security measures for smart devices, OIT believes this policy will significantly increase protection Emory's valuable data.

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